White privilege, black children

Oakland Unified’s new African American male student achievement office is co-sponsoring a free workshop next week led by Shawn Ginwright, a professor of Africana Studies at San Francisco State University. It’s called Putting Racism Aside: Working Past Hidden Bias.

It’s billed on the district’s Thriving Students blog as “NOT another diversity training.” The topic is “how white privilege shows up in working with urban children and youth.” I presume “urban” means children who aren’t white.

In what ways do you observe or experience white privilege at your school, or your child’s school? Do you think this kind of training can be eye-opening for school staff? How? Do you plan to go?

Event details, from OUSD’s blog:

Thursday, November 18th 2:30 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Marcus Foster School, 2850 West St. Oakland, CA 94608

This training is free of cost and is open to any individuals who work with foster youth in Alameda County. To register please call (510) 531.3111, x348/x106 or e-mail training@lincolnchildcenter.org. Limited space available. Participants must register by Friday, Nov. 12.

This is NOT another diversity training. Dr. Ginwright introduces participants to the subtle forms of white privilege and how they impact service to urban children. Participants learn a framework for understanding and responding to the manifestations of white privilege, particularly the denial of it. Participants practice identifying the layers of privilege, looking at how it serves to perpetuate the cycle of oppression of poor communities of color. People who work with children of color are highly recommended to attend this training in order to engage in this critical dialogue.

About the instructor: Dr. Shawn Ginwright is a Professor of Africana Studies at San Francisco State University. His recent book Black Youth Rising deals with the concept of ‘radical healing’ for urban youth of color, from various manifestations of social and racial injustice. Dr. Ginwright founded Leadership Excellence, an agency dedicated to creating social change through developing leadership in urban Black youth.

This training has been produced with the support of Oakland Unified’s African-American Male Achievement Office.  For more information, please email christopher.chatmon@ousd.k12.ca.us.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Hills Parent

    Harold, hopefully some of them will get their act together before they leave school or it could be a long, hard road for them. It’s no wonder that unemployment is high for young people who are Black – if they don’t have a good education or have social skills that are acceptable to their future employers, then their opportunities will be limited.

    As far as stereotypes, I keep an open mind about everyone I meet. But, honestly, a lot of people do fall into the stereotypes about their race/ethnicity. I would never assume that every Asian I met was smart, every Black person athletic etc. But often time the stereotype, be in positive or negative holds true. I don’t assume it’s true though, I just often find that it is.

  • Ms. J.

    To the extent comment #48 was in response to my post–A conversation is only possible if people listen to each other. In the case of a blog, that means people have to read each other’s comments and try to understand them.

    As I tried to make clear in my post, I am not saying it is not okay to write in anger or passion or any other emotion. However, if we want to ‘build and foster a better school district’ we will need to do so with the participation of all constituents. And many people will not participate if they feel they are being attacked.

    I understand that you feel frustrated and outraged by what you perceive as the self-indulgence of ‘liberal white people feeling all attacked and guilty’ when such feelings on their part do not help to solve the serious problems in our society.

    Unfortunately, in order to make changes, the people you seem so dismissive of will need to be part of the work. So it will be necessary to have conversations that are not only difficult but, at a bare minimum, civil.

  • Catherine

    I am a white middle-aged woman who teaches in a middle school with primarily black and brown students. I do not teach there because of white guilt or white anything. I teach because Oakland is my home. It is the home of my children. It is where I bank, shop, receive medical and dental care, ad where my children attend school.

    It is also where many black and brown students earn Ds and Fs because they do not work in class and do not hand in homework. I am available 45 minutes before school four days a week and 45 minutes after school three days a week. I have parent – student – teacher conferences in the morning, afternoon, even at coffee houses and book stores and the library on the weekend.

    In my school we are “strongly discouraged” from counting lack of homework negatively, yet with under an hour to teach material practice must be done outside of school. We must have meetings with school administrators for every D and every F. For me to give the grade the student has earned in these two categories I must work four times as hard, tracking down the student, having conferences, student study team meetings, administration meetings, I must tell students to put away their phones and iPods, etc. I am sometimes tempted to be one of those teachers who is guilty of “soft expectations” because the system is set up to allow students and parents to have little or no responsibility for the lack of class work and homework.

    To those in the group who call it white guilt or assume you understand my motives, soft expectations or grading policies, I invite you to volunteer your time in flat lands middle school English classes – first come in and observe, one class, two classes, whatever time you have. Then come in and volunteer to tutor one of the students you observed not working.

    I agree that we should be able to have a discussion about white privilege without getting defensive. We should be able to have that same discussion without making excuses for poor behavior or lack of responsibility as well.

    Oakland is a diverse city. If we live here, buy our homes here, pay taxes here, volunteer here, work here and send our children to school here we should all get a voice. If we are not able to have a voice we should not be living, working, paying taxes or educating our children in this city.

  • Hills Parent

    Thank you, Catherine, for sharing your experiences. I find it very educational and beneficial to hear first hand what is happening in the classrooms in Oakland.

    Sadly, the more I hear about the students, the more turned off I become about staying in Oakland for secondary school and high school. I have no doubt that there are fine, even excellent, teachers around. But I am not so sure I want my children to be in class with so many underperforming students who either don’t behave in class and/or don’t do the work.

    I’d like to stay in Oakland, but I am increasingly drawn to Piedmont and Lamorinda as options. Already working on my exit plan!

  • Catherine

    Hills Parent:

    You may want to reconsider Piedmont. There was such “mean girl” stuff going on at one of elementary schools – “you’re so fat and ugly you should kill yourself” sort of mean girl stuff that four parents pulled students and sent them to private schools.

    Be careful what you ask for – these were all white, upper-middle class girls who are high achievers with parents who attended the likes of Cal, Stanford and the Ivys.

    They have their own set of issues.

  • Catherine

    Hills Parent: Also, Stanley Middle School had a shop teacher arrested and accused of sending hundreds of inappropriate text messages a day and having inappropriate sexual contact – Stanley is the only middle school in Lafayette.

  • anon

    Hills Parent- also don’t forget about the Orinda girl that murdered another Orinda girl- both students of Miramonte high, for being jealous of getting into one of the two selective and clique-ish high school sororities that supported Children’s Hospital at the time…http://kirstencostasmovie.blogspot.com/2008/07/documents-magazine-articles.html

    I agree with Catherine- be careful what you ask for…

  • Hills Parent

    Yes, I agree with all of that – there will be new and different issues to contend with in those other communities. However, I’d rather tackle the issues that come up in a high achieving environment than the issues that are pervasive at Oakland middle and high schools. I know it won’t be perfect, but it feels preferable.

  • Catherine

    Hills Parent: Perhaps you should have attended a funeral that I attended. It was so, so sad.

    And, there were students who were not remorseful and who were unfeeling. You cannot make a child come back to life.

  • Nextset

    “Hate Whitey” School programs serve to keep back black children. They have been around for a long time.

    Readers might want to have a look at Thomas Sowell’s “Ethnic America” which is a study of economic progress of the various ethnic groups in the USA from arrival to the country. Blacks are on the bottom in economic progress. And the reasons for this are clear enough. Their own bad behavior.

    It’s clear from the USA history as well as world history that racial animus is not the determining factor in (failed) economic development. Only Blacks run around thinking that. Our continuing to serve this up to black children is the real problem. The “Hate Whitey” programs are used to prevent any change in the thoughts and behaviors of the black students.

    Racism is irrelevant. Ask the Jews, the Chinese, the Irish, the Japanese, The Polish, and every other ethnic group who came over with nothing and reviled who are doing just fine compared to the US white averages.

  • Let’s Get Real

    Seems like this conversation is petering out, but I want to add my two cents worth anyway. I appreciate the frank discussion that has taken place around this topic.

    I’m an African-American woman who grew up in a small town in New England in the sixties. Maybe 5% of the students in my high school class were black, and, although racism was not as blatant as it was in the South, it did (and does) exist, as did (and does) white privilege.

    In spite of this, at that time in most black neighborhoods–rural, urban, or suburban–most black students took school seriously and graduated. I really want to underscore this point. There was a time when education was greatly valued by most African-Americans regardless of income or location. So children took school seriously and understood that their parents expected them to do well. Yes, there were students who misbehaved and/or did not do well academically. But they were relatively few compared to what we see presently.

    So what changed? So much.

    Catherine makes a valid point re: the deterioration of the family structure in black communities. This is something that is difficult to address, yet it must be in order for conditions to improve. Values have changed drastically, and for the worse–especially in urban black neighborhoods.

    The outsourcing of factory jobs has hit the black community hard, although outsourcing has more to do with corporate greed than racism. Back in the day, one could get a legitimate long-term job with a high school diploma or less. A man could fairly easily provide for his family. And this was a common family dynamic–fathers were in the home, the family unit was generally intact, and children were monitored and disciplined. This is no longer true in many families.

    Furthermore, career preparation has been limited by the narrowing of high school curricula to college tracks only. Students at my high school could choose one of four courses: college; business; general; or vocational.

    Another change was the anti-establishment mindset that grew in the 60’s. It had its justifications, but was not channeled in a constructive enough manner to develop productive and thriving communities. And that anti-system attitude lingers and often surfaces as a negative attitude toward schools and other institutions to this day.

    Then there was the crack epidemic of the 80’s and on. For the first time that I’m aware of, droves of black women/mothers were drawn into addiction and rendered unfit parents. Fatherless homes became motherless homes as well, and aging grandparents were put in the position of trying to raise young children.

    Another change–gangster culture has become popular among black youth because of the sense of empowerment and inclusion it provides. It is perpetuated in music and media and promotes thuggery and misogyny over intellectualism. Weak or dysfunctional family structures lay the groundwork for–and are perpetuated by–this phenomenon.

    All of these changes and more have led to many black children arriving at school unprepared–on so many levels–to be successful. Yes, racism and white privilege definitely play a role in the back-story of present day conditions for black people. But, although they still exist and should be addressed in some manner, addressing those issues will do very little compared to what can be accomplished with two things: 1: A massive jobs program linked to education; and more importantly, 2: A determination on the part of black people to stop excusing our own self-defeating behavior.

  • http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/ Sharon

    @ Let’s Get Real: Thank you for bringing up those points. The post civil-rights era history is so important because of all the things you cite.

    I would like to mention an additional factor — the incarceration pattern of the past four decades, a graph of which is posted here: http://perimeterprimate.blogspot.com/2009/12/real-crisis.html

    With so many prisons having been privatized, and with big profits being made, there would definitely be an incentive to keep them all filled.

  • Catherine


    I believe you are a teacher. If that is so, do your black students have the same habits of mind, produce the same level and volume of homework and classwork and the same classroom behaviors that you would expect from high performing students?

    If not, let’s assume for one minute that we could create a school climate that did not have any white privilege at all, would the behavior of the students change?

    My master’s thesis was on the subject of the lack of students of color in gifted programs. I am well aware of our racist society. However, PERSONAL responsibility must also be accounted for in the equation.

  • Nextset

    I was driving an East Bay Freeway friday and got a small pit in my windshield. So Saturday I went looking for a Auto Glass repair. Found one – the first one I passed on a main street. All Asian. And working up a storm too. I had the windshield chip fixed in 15 minutes and was on my way. They called Allstate, got the faxed authorization to repair and got everything done is short order. While I waited I watched them working on the other customers cars. They do all aspects of auto glass including repairing window controls and replacing motors. They workers looked suspiciously like non high-school graduates – all male. Hard working, eager to please and exceedingly polite. It appeared to be an informal family or group of friends’ business. Not a Negro in sight – except me as a customer.

    There was a time when blacks had a lot of the self taught or “Voc Ed” sole proprietor businesses. There was a time when I traded with black barbers, shoe repair people, handymen, small appliance repair shop (dating myself) etc. I even went to a black pharmacy.

    And now we have the Brave New World where public schools teach “Hate Whitey” and crank out black “students” completely convinced they have a problem with “racism” in an Affirmative Action state – where they can’t even get the AA jobs anymore for lack of basic qualification and a surplus of Nigerians, Mexicans and every other immigrant who somehow went to the very same schools as the Negroes but don’t seem to have “racism” holding THEM back.

    Oh Well. I went to a routine medical appointment the other day and the physician was Indian and the PA was a Somali immigrant of 8 years – with a UC degree. I never saw anyone but a black physician or dentist until well after grad school. Now I don’t even seem to have one available.

    Racist Society my ass. These immigrants are going to the same school systems the Negroes use and they aren’t being held back at all. Even the Vietnamese want to run for Congress now. My Vietnamese relatives and my Indian co-workers tell tales of poverty and deprivation – in this generation – worse than anything the black criminal defendants have told me. In one generation they are in Hondas and Houses. They expect their children will do even better. Largely using public education.

    All the “Hate Whitey” programs in the schools need to be thrown out the window and the kiddies need to be told early and often that if they fail it’s ONLY because there is something wrong with them that they’d better change.

    Brave New World.

  • Gabby

    Usually I do not post on blogs, but in this case I could not remain silent. It is painful to read so many obviously racist posts directed at people of color, especially African American students.

    I acknowledge that immigrants of various nationalities come to America and are currently outperforming many of our African American students. However, one cannot overlook the fact that African American people were brought to this country in chains, unlike most immigrants who came here voluntarily to seek better lives. They do not have the stigma of a history of 246 years of legalized slavery to contend with, FOLLOWED by another 100+ years of Jim Crowism, which was nothing but legalized apartheid in America. Black people, especially men, were beaten, tortured, and murdered at will, via lynchings and mob attacks. Black men are still murdered to this day, this time by OPD, public servants whose salaries are paid for by citizens of Oakland, including tax paying African Americans. People of color who emigrate to the U.S. to this day enjoy freedoms that were won off of the backs of African Americans.

    @ Nextset: Did you ever hear of Tulsa aka, the Black Wall Street? How about Rosewood? Or how about Allensworth? These were successful, thriving Black towns all over America that were formed in the 20th century because African Americans were not allowed to do well. Jealous whites would run the successful African Americans off of their own farms, burn down their storefronts, and take over the deeds to their property. Eventually, these successful towns were destroyed by mobs of angry and jealous white people.

    Today, the unemployment rate among African Americans is double that of whites. Black and Latino people were the main targets of that entire trick bag also known as the home loan/mortgage default scam. A white man with a criminal record stands a better chance of getting a “call back” for a job interview than an African American male with no criminal record.

    White teachers tend to steer African American and Latino students (especially males) towards special ed, which goes in the students’ permanent files. Meanwhile white students who exhibit similar symptoms of behavioral conditions like ADHD are seldom placed in special ed services. Black and Latino hyperactive students are deemed as being oppositional or defiant, while white students who have the same behaviors are deemed “creative” or “high-spirited.”

    So the next time someone wants to compare the economic and educational success of African Americans to other cultures, at least they will have some of their facts straight.

    So, yes, a forum on white privilege and how it affects educational achievement is sorely needed.

  • JR

    “Black and Latino hyperactive students are deemed as being oppositional or defiant, while white students who have the same behaviors are deemed “creative” or “high-spirited.”

    That is blatant falsehood! All children are treated equally with each case on its individual merits, but the difference maker is the dysfunction that the child experiences at home. The real problem is for many decades now we have had the welfare system in place to try and help people get back on their feet(temporary help). Instead of using the system to better themselves and dig themselves out of the hole, they dig themselves in even deeper by having more kids and make welfare a way of life. People need to take responsibility for their own lives and realize that there is justice coming individually for every person and nation.

  • Publec School Teacher of Color

    I was a student of Dr. Ginwright during his brief stay at Santa Clara University… As a person of color who he failed to teach or engage, I find this article to be hilarious! There were 2 people of color in our entire African-American studies course, and judging by the theme of his workshop, Dr. Ginwright is doing more of the same- harping on white people for the privileges inherent to them since birth! Guess what, bro? We (people of color) get it, they (white people) don’t/won’t ever fully get the impact it has on society, and that is how it’s going to be. Save yourself time, effort, and frustration, and take a pass on this one, unless you’re white and get some sick sense of pleasure out of your guilt.

  • Gabby

    There is an overrepresentation of minority students, especially African American and Latino, in special ed. There is even a term for it, “disproportionality in education.” Here is one of just many research based articles on the topic:


    Furthermore, I have worked in classrooms where Student A, an African American child, has trouble staying focused, tends to get up at inappropriate times, etc. Meanwhile, Student W, a white child, has trouble focusing, staying on topic, gets up at inappropriate times, etc. Guess what? Student A’s mother is approached about getting her child tested, possibly going on medication, etc. Student W’s mother, if she is approached, is not encouraged to give permission to have her child placed in special services. So call it a falsehood if you like, but the scholarly research, plus the anectdotal evidence, suggest that my statement is far from “a complete falsehood.”

  • Hills Parent

    Hi Gabby, I want to reply to some of the things in your post. We are in Berkeley-Oakland in 2010 not the deep south 50 years ago. I’m not saying that racism and discrimination aren’t still present, but it’s nothing like it was in generations past. I’m sure we can all agree on that.

    Today’s Black youths growing up with (potentially) more opportunities, acceptance and tolerance that at any point in the past. These children should not be weighed down by history. They aren’t anchored to the past. It should be the job of parents to raise up their kids, not hold them back and help them find excuses.

    See my earlier post on gender discrimination. I don’t tell my daughter about all my own personal struggles in the workforce and how much easier it would be if I was a man. No, I teach her that she can do whatever she wants. Nothing is going to hold her back from accomplishing her dreams – that’s my message to her.

    I’m sorry we have a legacy of slavery, but that’s history and it’s time to stop falling back on that as an excuse. Stop feeling and acting like a victim. Let me give you a recent example. There is a teacher at my school who isn’t very good. She’s one of the worst teachers at our school, in fact, disliked by many. Several minority parents think that this is racial discrimination, that white parents don’t like her because she is not white. Such parents have been called racist for their views on this teacher. Oh please. I don’t like this teacher because she’s not effective and because I feel like she creates a toxic environment in her classroom. It’s not a place where my children would thrive. It has NOTHING to do with the woman’s race. But the minority parents have painted her as a victim of racist parents. (Note: there are many wonderful minorities teachers at our school and we’ve had excellent experiences with them. But I’m not going to like or dislike a teacher on the color of her skin, but on their effectiveness as an educator.)

    Looking forward not back.

  • Catherine

    Gabby: I am aware of the situation with special education and black and brown children. For this reason, before I make a recommendation for a Student Study Team I always, without exception, run it by a group of peers I trust. There a group of 5 of us, white black, mixed race, (including Asian, Central American and Native American). I know the legacy of Cumulative (Cum) File.

    If students do not have insurance because mom is collecting while grandma is rearing the child, I find a doctor for free services. For meds, long term, I make sure I have at least 100 days worth before working to make sure grandma gets the medical card in her possession.

    Yes, some of what you said happens, or used to happen. Now, many of my colleagues have realized what it actually costs to misdiagnose a student as special needs because of the cost to the district and most have stopped this practice.

    One thing that I think would help, and it will make many parents in the hills head elsewhere is to balance the classes socioeconomically. When I have slightly more than half of the class come from a background with an adult in their family with at least one year of college, the outcome of the class is better. There is a stronger work ethic overall.

    When there is a history of three or more generations on aid (welfare without a work history as opposed to needed aid for temporary setbacks) it is nearly impossible to instill the habits of mind such as persistence, managing impulsivity, and communicating with clarity and precision.

    I understand our legacy of slavery. In California I grew up in the era where we sprayed chemicals directly on the Mexican farm workers while they were working to the point that their children were born with defective or missing limbs and died shortly thereafter. It was the Chinese that we refused to educate that built our railroads for half the price of a white man. And it was Japanese families that we separated and sent to camps at World War II. We have a legacy in this country of treating people horribly who are not white. In effort to relieve our guilt about African American legacies we have given welfare and taken away factories.

    We need blacks to rise up and demand a high quality education. We need the parents and grandparents of these children to make teachers hold students accountable. I have often said that if parents and grandparents could see the behavior of their own children and grandchildren on video while they were in class, classroom behavior would improve and learning would be on the rise. Legacy is one thing, conversation is another and putting the rubber of hard work to the road of high quality education is another.

  • Hills Parent

    Hi Catherine, I always appreciate hearing from you. As you suggest in your post, it’s really not feasible to “mix up” the schools in Oakland. There are only maybe 10 good/great elementary schools in Oakland and dozens of ones that are fair or poor. There is simply no way I would permit my children to attend a school where the bulk of children were from the flatlands and struggling in school.

    I welcome a diverse campus and know that my children benefit from being around multiple races, ethnicities, socio-economic levels, cultures and so. But if most of the students at their school were low-performers – from families were education wasn’t valued in the same way it is in my family or community – then the standard of academic work would drop and that classroom behavior problems would increase. You’d see white flight, no doubt, and the system would fall into further disrepair. I value diversity but not at the expense of a proper education and a safe environment.

    There simply are no easy solutions to the plight of under achievement in African American communities. But change can not come without a change in attitude from within.

  • Gabby

    Hello Hills Parent. I applaud you for teaching your daughter that she can be successful despite her gender. I agree with you on that point. I also agree that more parents should get involved in helping their kids to behave appropriately.

    I am not living in the past, nor I do I feel or act like a victim. I’m the first in my family to graduate from a 4 year college. I worked my way through college and graduate school despite coming from a tough Oakland neighborhood. Also, I understand that it is the year 2010 and we are in the ‘liberal’ bay area. However, you missed my larger point. Today, in the year 2010 the African American unemployment rate is twice that of the white rate. Today, a white male with a criminal record has a better chance of obtaining a call back for a job interview than an African American male with no criminal record. Black and Latino people are routinely charged higher interest rates on home loans than white people with comparable incomes and credit ratings. Today, in 2010, there is a huge wealth gap that persists between Caucasians and African Americans that is a direct result of institutionalized racism. I am talking about white people being allowed to buy homes (without the weight of restrictive covenants) that were passed down from generation to generation, thus building wealth. I’m talking about white people given tracts of land simply for moving there and settling it. Those kinds of actions helped to create a wealth gap. That wealth gap persists today, so that the average white family has 7 times the wealth of the average African American family today. Of course, there are exceptions (I can point to Oprah, Tiger Woods, etc.) but I am speaking in general terms. I acknowledge that a lot of the blatant racism (i.e., the segregation signs) was deemed illegal in the late 1960s. However, if it costs a Latino or an African American 1 point more on an interest rate than a white person on an ‘apples to apples’ home loan, then who benefits more economically in 2010? How much is that 1 point worth over the life of a 30 year loan? I do not live in the past, but I cannot pretend that today’s racism (which is much more subtle), does not affect economics and education.

    I’m curious about that African American teacher that the white parents and staff dislike. How long has this person been teaching? It normally takes a teacher anywhere from 3 – 5 years before he or she becomes very good in the profession. If that teacher is relatively new or an intern, perhaps she can benefit from some effective professional development, working with a mentor teacher, etc.. If she’s a veteran, then it sounds like she’s probably in the wrong profession.

    Catherine: I appreciate your comments, and I’m happy to hear that you and your colleagues have taken steps to avoid misplacement of kids of color in special ed. Believe me that was not the case in 2010 at the school where I worked. I applaud you and your staff’s efforts at creating a more just learning community.

    I totally agree with your point that if caregivers could see video of their kids acting out and being disruptive in class it would be helpful. Unfortunately, too many parents would rather be in denial about their kids inappropriate behavior, lest it somehow reflect badly on their parenting skills. There was a time when parents would respect the teacher’s assessment of a student’s behavioral challenges with little doubt, but that is less common today. Unfortunately, some kids (not all) who act out know what buttons to push to manipulate their parents, or how to ‘work the system’. There was an eye-opening article in this week’s Tribune about the difficulties many teachers face when trying to hold students accountable for behaving inappropriately and disrupting the learning environment. It was called “Reinforcing Teacher’s Discipline” and it was by a guy named John Rosemond, a psychologist. It’s possible that the article is still available on http://www.rosemond.com.

    My larger point is that white privilege still exists today, and it definitely affects the educational system. Therefore, the forum taking place later this week can hopefully offer solutions to help well -meaning white and minority teachers address hidden biases that can affect their ability to reach students.

  • Hills Parent

    Hi Gabby, to answer your question, the teacher has been teaching for many, many years. My point is that the minority parents at are school see that the white parents don’t like this particular black teacher and think it’s racism, like that could be the ONLY reason why she is disliked. It doesn’t seem to cross their minds that the teacher may not be a good educator, plain and simple, regardless of her skin color. It also ignores the fact that some of the best teachers in the school are not white and these teachers are beloved by everyone.

  • Hills Parent

    Whoops, typo. Should be “…at OUR school…”

    Also, kudos to you Gabby for overcoming your circumstances and graduating from college. I hope you’ve found success from all your hard work.

  • Bradley Witherspoon

    So-called “white privilege” is the exact opposite of the truth. The idea of white privilege is designed to browbeat whites, morally disarm us and further shame us into cooperating in our dispossession.

    No other race in history has voluntarily surrendered its children’s future educational, housing and employment opportunities, its entire civilization even, as whites have in the name of progress — all as a result of being brainwashed for decades with this type of anti-white propaganda in the press and schools. “White privilege” is truly a breathtaking libel.

    As has been pointed out in earlier posts, students of color often aren’t expected to conform to even modest standards of behavior or academic performance. Why? Because it is THEY who are privileged. To all you self-hating, guilt-ridden white liberals out there: Can you think of any students or workers of color who seem to be able to get away with anything without fear of consequences? Betcha can. Can you think of any co-workers of color who don’t seem to do much and somehow not only avoid being fired or laid off but actually get promoted, even in this economy? Can YOU do that? Wake up and wise up, white folks. Every other race does what it thinks is in its own best interests without guilt or apology — so should you.

    Have you been to an Oakland DMV lately? They don’t look like they’re celebrating diversity to me when 90 percent of their staff is black and not too concerned about moving very fast because they know they’re not gonna be fired from their gravy-train jobs. This phenomenon can be seen in the private sector, too. No, “white privilege” is just more drivel dreamed up by people like “Professor” Ginwright who seem to make a cushy living defaming white people.

    One nuance, though — while “white privilege” does not apply to straight, white gentiles of the working- and middle-class variety (e.g. we’re the only group it’s OK to openly discriminate against through affirmative action, we’re the only group to which protective hate-crime laws don’t apply, we’re the only group against whom anti-discrimination laws are enforced), “white privilege” does apply to whites who are Jewish or homosexual. As a matter of fact, a lot of the “whites” in the top ranks of Western government, media, finance and academia are Jewish. So to all you self-righteous people of color out there, please stop confusing us with the Jews.

    And to all “you people” out there of whatever race who think you’re in any way opposing the system by pushing garbage ideas like “white privilege:” you don’t oppose the system, you ARE the system.

  • Cranky Teacher

    Woah, Bradley, thanks for visiting. You can return to FreeRepublic.com now.

    But seriously, you’re silly.

    I’m white, not Jewish, and all my life this society has been giving me handouts, second chances, third chances, choice jobs, the best connections, treating me like a king, basically.

    [Insert “then why are you a teacher?” joke here.]

    Meanwhile, my minority students raised in poverty are routinely treated as criminals everywhere they go in white communities, don’t know the “right people,” don’t speak the “right way,” are accused of being terrorists, rapists, lazy and, most outrageously, spoiled. The only way they can make it is to assimilate as fast and completely as possible, at least from 9-5.

    I am not a “guilty liberal” — I am just somebody who is willing to see the advantages the color of my skin and my middle-class background have given me every single day of my life in this country (and even abroad, in both the “first” and “third” world).

    Nor do I identify with your sad, reductionist appeal for me to join your race war to preserve our “children’s future educational, housing and employment opportunities.”

    It’s just silly: On the one hand, you admit that whites built an empire, on the other you claim that it is so feeble and weak that it can be destroyed by a minority of “self-hating” whites employing nothing more than guilt trips. Poor, pitiful whites!

    As for the DMV, here’s a hint to why things are slow there: The job is BORING and does not reward hard work or innovation. It is what it is. Watch “Office Space” if you want a reminder of why most people suck at their bureaucratic office jobs, in both the public and private sectors. “It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just that I don’t care,” says the lead character.

    And are you really telling me the DMV wouldn’t hire me because I’m white? Really? I almost want to apply just to prove you wrong.

  • JR

    This is exactly why I am against extremists on both sides of the political spectrum, they are so far from the real truth that they create their own truth out of their fertile imaginations. Hey Bradley, Stormfront is that way ————————————————>.

  • Bradley Witherspoon

    @Cranky Teacher: my standard advice to every self-hating, guilt-ridden, backstabbing white liberal is that if you really feel so bad about the problems of black and brown people then quit your job so someone else can take it, sell off all your material possessions and donate the proceeds to the NAACP, La Raza or any other like-minded group whose racism is deemed not just acceptable but praiseworthy. If you have children, give away all their stuff, too. But, of course, you’re not going to do that, are you? You’d much rather support the giving away of OTHER white people’s stuff. As for your black and brown students being “treated as criminals everywhere they go in white communities,” perhaps it’s because their races have earned bad reputations by letting their worst examples define them to the outside world. Whose fault is that?
    @JR: y’know what’s really extreme? A whole race of people watching itself go down the drain and refusing to do or say anything against it or, worse yet, applauding this situation because that’s what’s currently fashionable. I don’t know if you’re white, but if you are I don’t think your grandchildren will think too highly of you. Perhaps you should try to fertilize your own imagination and realize that moderates have given us the current status quo.
    @everyone else: I’m not a fan of Free Republic or Stormfront, but if you love the GOP, then keep pushing this hate-whitey stuff, because it drives the white working class — which used to vote solidly Democratic until the ’60s — into the arms of the Republicans, who then send us to the front lines of their corporate wars, among their other crimes. I think the Left could enjoy much greater success if it would drop the hate-whitey routine, but then maybe that’s what the real agenda’s been all along — you tell me.

  • Shawn

    All this talk about Black students. What about the rest of the students who are suffering at the hands of the obscure racism- – excuses. I dont buy that oits white teachers, becuase to be honest, whites are scared to even call a Black person black now. No – its those soft racist that are the problem.

    The problem in this city is that its a racial zero sum game when it comes to blacks, but not for all others.

    Where were the community protests for the killings of the elderly Asians in oakland? Maybe becuase Blacks did it so it was not ok? How about the Vietwnam veteran who defended himself on a bus? He was accused of racism even though he was jumped!

    I saw a group of black teenagers beat an older white yelling all kinds of racial slurs on Broadway: honkie, cracker, etc. Bystanders did and said nothing. Why?

    Its a disgrace to Blacks and all other members of society and as a matter of fact an indictment of just who soft America has gotten. Thank Woodrow Wilson and FDR for the birth of this, but that another topics.

    So as long as this continues, blacks will be screwed because the “pimps” as someone described in a previous post, are in fact pimping them for their profit and political grandiose, while they will attribute all of their failures simply due to race.

  • Hills Parent

    There is a double standard when it comes to outcries of injustice. It’s disgusting. Where are the tears, anger, protests in the Black community for the Black kid who is a victim of gang violence or, as mentioned above, the old Asian man beat to death by Black men? Where is the outrage?

    From what I see, anger is solely or primarily directly at situations where a White man has killed a Black man, whether it was intentional or not, like the Oscar Grant case. Meantime, every week there are Blacks committing violence against others, mainly other Black people.

    I wish that the Black population would rise up and demand an end to the cycle of violence. Expect better behavior. Demand school attendance. Encourage academic achievement. Say no to gangs, drugs and children out of wedlock. Rise up against victimization. Work hard. Speak up against things that are bring your community down. Stand tall on your own two feet.

    The criminal element and the bad behavior that goes along with this is increasingly defining the African American community. It’s it time for that to cease?

  • Harold

    I have a question:

    Would should we expect from “white” people?

    check this out:
    “Out-of-wedlock births are also rising in much of the industrialized world: in Iceland, 66 percent of children are born to unmarried mothers; in Sweden, the share is 55 percent. (In other societies, though, the phenomenon remains rare — just 2 percent in Japan, for example.)”

    hmmm …

  • Hills Parent

    I think we should have higher expectations from all of our youth, frankly. Out of wedlock births are not just a problem in minority communities; it’s become fairly common everywhere and will lead to more problems in our society. However, I believe it’s most common among Black women and that Black men are often not present in their child’s life. That’s a big problem!

  • Harold

    this thread is going nowhere …

    @Hills Parent – i gave you facts and you came back with this? Go into the post office. You can see pictures of “dead-beat” dads. They are mostly white. That’s a big problem!

  • Catherine

    Harold and Hills Parent: I have at least 12 families who legally cannot get married because of Prop 8. 11 of the 12 families’ children are intact families with students scoring “Advanced” in both ELA and Math and “Proficient” or “Advanced” in writing (when it was scored) and Science. One family has a child with Down Syndrome and is working above the expectations set forth in the IEP.

    The vast majority are white and / or Hispanic/Latino families.

  • Hills Parent

    Harold, you are missing the point! As a percentage, this is a much greater problem in the African American population. It’s not even close!

    From 2009, CNN: “Other data released last month showed the percentage of unwed mothers differs from race to race. While 28 percent of white women gave birth out of wedlock in 2007, nearly 72 percent of black women and more than 51 percent of Latinas did.”

    The whole article is here: http://tinyurl.com/2utgkue

    These stats tell me what I need to know and support everything I’ve been saying about how big a problem this is. Yes, others should do better too but clearly Blacks have the most significant problem. Isn’t it time for change?

  • Hills Parent

    Catherine, that’s really a separate issue and will have only a small impact on the numbers. I think that anyone should have a right to marry and it’s unfortunate that this hasn’t been extended to all people yet. Any parents that are living together in a committed relationship are giving their children the same or a similar level of stability as married couples. I’m not concerned about those parents.

    I’m concerned about the prevalence of single motherhood among girls that are too young and/or can’t support themselves.

  • David

    @ Hills Parent – So, this is a “i’m better than you guys thing”? That’s real helpful. The majority of Black people on this forum are the professional type. I doubt you are reaching anyone (here) with your admonishments.

    Would you like to bare responsibility for what white people have done militarily in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? What about child abductors who are mostly white? What about the Wall Street looting of our financial system, is that your fault?

  • Hills Parent

    Harold’s post (#83) said he gave me facts and I came back with something that he implied was weak. So I backed up my comments with some of the latest statistics that prove my point that out of wedlock births are a big problem in the African American community. That’s related to the problem of under performance in schools among black children.

    As for your other comments, that’s outside of the topic of this thread and this blog.

  • David

    @ #88 – you are generalizing about an entire “race” of people. I believe my comments are relevant. Mostly because of your statements, along with Bradley Witherspoon.

  • Bradley

    I’d venture to guess the reason there are now well over 80 comments on this story compared to about 20 at most on any other story is that most people know instinctively that “white privilege” is nonsense, but they haven’t thought it through enough to put their fingers on why.

    I want to preface my comment by saying it gives me no enjoyment to say harsh things about blacks or other nonwhites. If you’re reading this and you’re not white, know this: I’m not writing here because I think it’s fun to trade insults with you. I’m writing here because for too long in this country, anti-white slander and libel has been allowed and even promoted in the press and schools with no challenge. Now, thanks to this great white invention called the Internet, some of us evil white men can — horror of horrors — actually contradict these lies and half-truths in front of a wider audience than in the past.

    I have a dream that one day white children will be able to go to school and not hear their race slandered. And at white-taxpayer expense, to boot. I have to believe at least some, if not most, of the OUSD’s budget comes from white taxpayers, so the fact that people can actually make a living defaming whites — in addition to being able to do this at all in public — is particularly infuriating. Here’s a little thought experiment: try to go around talking about any other group as privileged and see how far you get. How long would it take the ADL to crucify any college professor lecturing his students about “Jew privilege,” for example? And speaking of that, a recent comment mentioned Wall Street shenanigans as an example of “white” crime and misbehavior. I’d recommend he check out the ethnicity of a lot (dare I say most?) of these white-collar criminals: Bernie Madoff, Andy Fastow from Enron, Michael Milken, even Ivan Boesky in the ’80s were Jews to a man. So as I said before, please stop confusing us with the Jews. Let’s clear up the definition of “white.” It means straight, white gentiles of the working- and middle-class variety, not rich whites who’ve sold out our race like the Bushes and the Clintons (who are now also rich) by serving as puppets for the powers that be and engaging in aggression against Israel’s enemies in the Muslim world.

    BTW, here’s two recent and local examples of nonwhite privilege. A high court recently ruled that illegal aliens don’t have to pay out-of-state tuition in California colleges but U.S. citizens from out of state DO have to pay the higher tuition. You know most of these illegal alien California college students are Latin American mestizos, so there’s your first example of how nonwhites are privileged over whites. The second example is the entire Dellums administration at Oakland City Hall. Talk about a guy who just mailed it in! Apparently, he’s now going to give his last State of the City speech as a tape recording, and it’s unknown if he’ll publicly speak again as mayor before his term ends. Could a white mayor get away with this kind of absentee-landlord performance? And let’s not even get into Dellums’ potentially criminal personal tax and expense scandals. In fairness, I guess the equally ethically-challenged Don Perata was trying to the same thing — basically taking the Oakland mayor’s job as a payoff for his years in government, wherein he could coast for his last few years at work. But Perata’s a white guy, so he couldn’t get away with it, further proving my point — hahahaha! One last thing about Dellums — I have to wonder if he’s the only nonwhite manager anyone knows of out there who seems like he can’t be bothered to do much around the workplace, even when he does put in a “special guest appearance.” Well, I guess there are white managers out there who do the same, just maybe not quite as blatantly.

    Now here’s the part where most people usually say, “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a racist. Some of my best friends are blah, blah blah, blah.” I won’t do that because don’t get me wrong — I’m a stone cold racist. While I don’t want to see my race ruling or reigning supreme over any other race, I do think we white people need to start protecting and pursuing our interests without guilt or apology, just like we used to and just like every other race does. As some of the other commenters have correctly pointed out, you don’t have look hard to find white misbehavior and generally low-class living these days either. The reason? Because this whole multicultural experiment launched in the ’60s has failed and done nothing but bring out the worst in every race. You now see middle-class white kids aping the mannerisms, behavior and expression of the lowest classes the black race in this country has to offer. Personally, I had hoped by 2010 that white civilization would’ve produced colonies on the moon and Mars and that we’d all be flying around magnificent technological cities in our personal aircraft, just like the future used to be imagined. Why hasn’t anything resembling this happened? Because we’ve now had to sacrifice the education of several generations of white children on the altar of multiculturalism. I know there are exceptions, but let’s face it: for most black and Hispanic kids that whole “school” thing with the chalkboards, books, teachers, pencils, notebooks etc. is not really their cup o’ tea. Because of this the whole curriculum’s had to be dumbed down and standards lowered in the public schools in the name of all this “progress” we’ve had since the ’60s.

    The answer: total geographic segregation. As my old pal Fred Nitzsche said, “When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares into you.” Well I stared into the abyss and came to the conclusion that segregation was a superior system to what we have now. Every race in this country used to behave better than it does now. That’s why I have a lot of respect for Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam — ’cause they get it. Every race should be left alone to handle its own affairs and fix its own problems with its own resources, not the resources of other races (tax dollars, labor etc). As the black lady from New England pointed out several posts ago, black culture and black families used to be far better off than they are now, before multiculturalism was imposed on this country.

    One last thing, a commenter a few posts back snidely remarked about “joining my race war,” or something to that effect. No, I’m not trying to start a race war, but something resembling a race war has been waged against white people for a long time, and for a long time we’ve been losing. There’s a statistic out there that something like 37,000 white women a year, which works out to more than 100 a day, are raped by men of color, while it doesn’t happen at all in the reverse (at least not in statistically significant numbers). This statistic is controversial and disputed, but whatever the true numbers are, don’t expect the mainstream media to report them. And can you imagine what the press would do if the opposite were true — an epidemic of white men raping women of color across America? I guess the news blackout regarding crimes against whites by people of color is just one more example of our “white privilege.”


  • AC Mom


    All that you would have to do is move to Idaho, Montana, Utah, etc. (if you don’t live there already) and you’d be a few steps closer to Valhalla. People do it all the time. Figure out a way to fly under the radar of the IRS and you’re good to go. You’re free of non-whites, white liberal guilt, moneyed elites and “the man” in one fell swoop! Find yourself a wife, have some babies, homeschool your kids and maybe they can build you a rocket to Mars. Doesn’t that sound wonderful!

    One question. Why do you care to post on an Education Blog in a city that (at least publically) embraces multiculturalism? It’s not like we all arrived in Oakland and said, “My gosh; no one looks the same!” Those who find it intolerable to live here (regardless of reason)will do what they can to leave.


  • Bradley

    Tsk, tsk, tsk and wag o’ the finger, AC Mom — you’re stereotyping! Contrary to what the press and schools may have led you to believe, not every strong, proud white person who knows the real score is a toothless hick who’s into things like tattoos, meth, incest and bestiality. Nevertheless, you raise excellent questions, and I’m happy to answer them.

    Why don’t I just move to a white state? Because even though it’s unofficially illegal to be a strong proud white person in the Bay Area, the powers that be haven’t come out and officially declared it illegal. It’s not illegal to be white yet around here, but you are still — in the name of decency — expected to feel pretty bad about it. Secondly, white flight is close to running its course, if it hasn’t already. Had we stood our ground in the ’60s and ’70s, we wouldn’t have been ethnically cleansed from the big cities our ancestors built. Besides that, there are a lot people (perhaps like you) who feel that we mustn’t rest until every last nook and cranny of the U.S., Canada, Australia and West Europe have been multiculturalized, so there’s no guarantee that any white state one moves to is going to stay white. The federal government’s refugee programs seem to take particular delight in resettling Developing World refugees in the whitest parts of America — Maine, Wisconsin, Minnesota etc. Why do they do this?

    Anyway, until that portion of white America that does not hate itself and feel guilty for the crime of being born white is allowed to secede and have a chunk of current U.S. land to form our own country, we at the very least need a formal organization advocating for our interests. All the other races have this, but we don’t, so that’s why our concerns get pushed aside if they’re considered at all.

    I wonder, AC Mom, how much you really love diversity. Would you send a child to Richmond High School? I guess that charmingly diverse bunch there that committed the atrocity on that poor girl last year are finally going on trial. I wonder if the victim was white. One of the defendants did look like a white boy, further proof of how multiculturalism is dragging white folks downhill, too. Richmond High: now that’s a poster child for multicultural education, isn’t it?

    I’m not sure what socioeconomic class you’re in, AC Mom, but for the upper middle class and higher diversity just means more cute little ethnic shops and restaurants where they can eat and shop for tchotchkes. For those of us more financially challenged white folks, diversity means more competition for jobs, more catering to the wants of other races in schools, more harassment and intimidation in the schools and really a lot of other problems too long to list here.

    Why did I post here? Because I came across the story above, saw the comments and decided you good folk needed to know that not every white person ’round these parts is too apathetic and/or dumb and/or scared to see through the agenda being advanced against us. At least part of my tax dollars go to the OUSD, which in turn uses that money to indoctrinate children of all races into anti-white propaganda that passes for “education.”

    Just like the homosexuals in the ’70s made a point of telling the world they were out here, they weren’t going away and they weren’t going to shut up, so is it the case with some of us uppity working-class white folk who aren’t buying this garbage like “white privilege.”

    We’re white, we’re right, get used to it!

  • Bradley Witherspoon

    Well, I guess my work is done here. I’ll yield the last word to everyone else, so attack away. Maybe I’ll go post on all the other stories now.

  • Sue

    It is sooooo tempting to go through Bradley’s posts and rewrite them from my born-in-Idaho, middle-class, teen-age-white-girl-in-the-70’s, feminist prespective. But it’s irrelevant to the discussion at hand, and I seriously doubt he’d get my point at all.

    I do remember a *lot* of men who were seriously threatened and upset at the competition (supposedly unfair!) from girls/women of my generation. “Tough luck boys, stop whining and crying because a *girl* is smarter and/or works harder.”

    They either learned how to compete with me on an almost-level playing field (they still had the advantage, and I always had to prove I was better, not merely as good as my competition) and quit their belly aching, or I left them in the dust.

    Bradley just needs to stop crying in his beer about his lost privilege, and learn how to compete with intelligent and hard-working folks of other races. Either he can figure that out for himself and then he’ll *do* it, or he can’t. But none of us can change his mind and it’s a waste of our time to try, however on-topic it is to this particular blog entry.

  • Hills Parent

    Bradley’s way too radical for me, although we may share some common ground. I’m not ready to give up on multi-culturalism and it’s unrealistic to think that we’re going to divide along racial lines in the way envisioned by Bradley.

    But following on from Sue’s comment about how the Bradleys of this world (middle class white men) should “stop crying in their beers about lost privilege and learn how to compete with intelligent and hard-working folks of other races”, I would add that the Black community should stop crying victimization and cease blaming others for their shortcomings and learn how to compete with intelligent and hard-working folks of other races. Basically, we should also stop blaming others for “holding us back” or “taking what was ours” and get on with things.

    Women in general have made great strides and they will probably enjoy success on even higher levels in the future. Women graduate from college at a significantly higher rate than the male peers and they are taking this commitment and drive to the workforce. Men could learn a thing or two from women!

  • Hills Parent

    That should read “we should ALL stop blaming others…”

  • Sue

    Exactly! Thank you, Hills Parent.

    We all get some advantages, and some disadvantages. When we’re kids, it’s the responsibility of the adults around us to help us identify our advantages (talents, skills, interests) and learn how to use them to overcome the disadvantages.

    (Yes, Nextset may trot out _The Bell Curve_ again, and beat that dead horse some more about which races have the most and least disadvantages. Whatever floats his boat. My point is about individuals – for example, my autistic son is an OUSD high school graduate, and a college freshman at CSUEB. He has the advantages of being a white male, raised in a middle-class, two parent family. And he has the very serious disadvantage of his autism. He got into a four-year university, because he’s *worked* really hard to overcome that disadvantage.)

    Once we’re adults, it’s our own responsibility to figure out how we can best play the hand we’ve been dealt. Blaming others is a childish behavior and attempts to avoid that personal responsibility.